Prison's closing to affect Hempfield Township Municipal Authority revenue
The Hempfield Township Municipal Authority stands to lose about $400,000 in revenue when the state prison along Route 119 closes this summer, but customers are not likely to receive a rate increase, the authority chairman said.
“We're losing a big chunk,” Chairman Robert Kendra said. “My personal opinion is we won't raise rates.”
With the addition of 1,200 new customers in the Lincoln Heights area this spring when a major sewer line project is completed and 350 more in Rolling Hills, the authority should be able to keep current rates, Kendra said.
A number of homes in Lincoln Heights had malfunctioning septic systems that are being replaced by sewer lines.
Residential customers pay a flat rate of $55.56 per quarter plus a usage fee of $3 for every 1,000 gallons of water used.
The authority has been hit before with a revenue loss that forced a rate increase. Kendra said rates went up after the Sony plant closed and the authority lost $1 million in revenue.
Authority Director Rege Ranella said the state prison at Greensburg is a major customer, but the prison's closing is offset by other development in the township and the potential for development in the north, along Route 819 and Forbes Trail Road.
Before new development can take place, though, Hempfield and the Greater Greensburg Sewage Authority will have to implement a plan to curb flooding and handle additional sewage flow that further development would create in that area, Ranella said.
Before the state announced that the prison will close by June 30, the two authorities considered exchanging sewer lines. Greensburg would turn over lines it controls in northern Hempfield to the township, while Hempfield would turn over lines it maintains near the state prison as well as lines at the nearby Westmoreland County Prison and the juvenile detention center.
Ranella said the state prison closure will kill that swap.
The two authorities have submitted a joint plan to the state Department of Environmental Protection to handle development in north Hempfield and flooding that occurs during heavy rains.
Sewage in north Hempfield flows into the Greater Greensburg Sewage Authority plant on Route 119, authority engineer Dan Schmidt said. A proposal to bypass Greensburg and direct flow to New Stanton along the Five Star Trail was considered, but the Greensburg authority stood to lose revenue, he said.
Instead, the two authorities submitted a joint plan to the DEP to build a 1-million-gallon equalization tank near Lynch Field in Greensburg, Kendra said. During periods of heavy rain, the tanks would collect the excess water and slowly release it over time to avoid overloading the sewage treatment plant.
“Their lines are old, and a lot of surface water — storm water — gets into the sewer lines,” he said.
Schmidt said the tank also would help with development in northern Hempfield.
Dr. Stuart Glasser's plans to build a 2,000-unit development north of Greensburg has been stalled for several years because of the housing market slump and concerns over sewage in Hempfield. In addition to homes and apartments, the “Traditional Neighborhood Development” would have stores, offices and restaurants.
Richard Gazarik is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-830-6292 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Fiscal concerns define Westmoreland County commissioners race
- Greensburg sculptor finds way to monster career with Syfy opportunity
- 10 candidates seek school board seats in Greensburg Salem
- State approves permits for gas-fueled electrical generating plant in South Huntingdon
- Bail reduction denied for husband of Norwin educator
- Seton Hill president vows to build on legacy
- One-car crash knocks out power in Southwest Greensburg
- Spirit Airlines lifts fortunes of Arnold Palmer Regional Airport
- Video offers positive view of Latrobe police conduct
- Students learn outside at Westmoreland County’s Envirothon in Hempfield
- Murrysville woman apologizes for scholarship fund theft